The Vulture covered Brad Pitt’s panel session at Cannes. Pitt was happy to wear his tolerant, and intolerant political views on his sleeve throughout the media barrage:
When a Spanish journalist asked Pitt if, as a dad, he had a problem playing a killer, he replied, “Not in any way, because murder is an accepted possibility when you’re dealing in crime. I would have a much harder time playing a racist or something along those lines. That would be much more unsettling for me than a guy who shoots another guy in the face.” Later, when the topic came up again of whether violent video games had influenced the film’s stylized shots of people getting their faces blown off (courtesy of Pitt’s The Assassination of Jesse James director, New Zealander Andrew Dominik), the actor again refused to apologize. “We live in such a violent world. I certainly grew up hunting, which is a very violent act. Have you ever had a hamburger? Have you seen how they butcher cows? It’s barbaric, it’s horrendous, it’s very violent. This is the world we live in, so I see it as absolutely important to film. Is it how it’s shot? Is it memorialized or aggrandized or romanticized in some way? That’s a fair question, but I don’t see a world without it.”
It’s a movie, it’s not supposed to glorify violence simply tell a story about it.
Many times these films are watched by those in the underworld, they are the ones who will gladly jump on it as an endorsement of their lives. If anything though, Pitt has been compelling as a calculated killer character since his real life persona is so contrastingly libertarian.
Pitt’s cynicism clearly gets the best of him here in that answer when he says “I don’t see a world without it,” but we’re well aware he’s one to.
With its weirdly bureaucratic system of hit men and their greedy bosses and the film’s constant background noise of economic stump speeches from the Obama-McCain election, it’s obvious that Dominik means for Killing to stand as a metaphor for the financial free fall that has hit the United States hard. Naturally, journalists used the high-minded allusions as cover to ask questions about Pitt’s relationship with Angelina Jolie.
“My question is two-part,” said one reporter. “Is it a coincidence that this movie is coming out in an election year, and I understand Angelina Jolie will be with you here tonight. Are you two ever going to work again in a movie?” The moderator tried to step in, but Pitt seemed perfectly happy to answer for his fiancée: “Actually, we’d love to. She’s not here now. She’s prepping for a movie that she starts very soon. Uh, what was the first question? I should say, I don’t think we should have press conferences before 1 p.m. in Cannes. I’m going to start that movement. I’ll sign a petition or something.”
It’s easy to see them working in another movie together at some point, they know how much the moviegoers love them in films together. They have obviously been very selective of their scripts to paint them as the ultimately loving couple surrounded by conflict in their appearances together.
Later, a Hong Kong reporter went one better: “As one of the hottest and hardest-working actors on the market today, I can imagine how busy your schedule is, but now with the rumors about your wedding, will that change your working schedule?” Once again, the moderator tried to lay down the kibosh, and once again Pitt confidently talked over him: “We have no date. We actually really, truly have no date. It’s something that makes sense to us … and we’re still hoping we figure out marriage equality in the States before then, before that date.”
Let me put before our male audience (with a fiancé or not) a hypothetical exercise: Go ahead and tell any woman this exact line when they ask if or when you’re getting married. Laugh when they call you a giant douche sandwich afterwards because it’s actually Brad Pitt’s words. Realize you obviously don’t live in Pitt’s world and have a nice day.
He even gamely answered a question about that recent incident where Will Smith slapped a male reporter who tried to kiss him. “I wouldn’t want to slap anyone,” Pitt said with kindness in his voice, though he wasn’t aware of the incident in question. “That’s mean. I don’t want anyone to get hurt or feel too bad or do any of that.” Really, he’d rather just make people feel safe and then shoot them in the face. What’s wrong with that?
Please refrain from running up to the movie stars and kissing them, even if they don’t like slapping people. We know you can restrain yourself, and so can they, but typically they are playing the roles of violence with fans. So don’t be surprised when they aren’t afraid to bitch slap an over eager fan who gets into their personal space — much to the chagrin of their agents who then have to put on a PR defensive.
Update by Roberta: You can see photos from the premiere of the movie.